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Farmer Wants E. Oregon and E. Washington to Merge With Idaho

By George Prentice | On @georgepren Sunday September 27, 2015    9:56 AM
La Grande, Ore.-based farmer Ken Parsons doesn't want to be an Oregonian anymore. He doesn't want to move either.

The Eastern Oregonian reports 72-year-old Parsons is trying to convince his neighbors—a lot of them—they would be better off if eastern Oregon and eastern Washington joined Idaho. In particular, Parsons says eastern Oregonians/Washingtonians are tired of being regulated by the competing interests in Portland or Seattle holding sway in those state's legislators. Parsons says his politics are more aligned with Idaho's.

"The environmental regulations that come out of Salem [Oregon's capitol] make it almost impossible to do my work," Parsons told the Eastern Oregonian. "It's an intriguing idea [to join Idaho]."

History isn't on Parsons' side. A U.S. state boundary hasn't been redrawn since 1863, when West Virginia was carved out of Virginia.

"Given the inability of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., to effectuate this type of large scale change, disgruntled citizens would be better off to get involved with politics instead of complaining about the state of affairs," Eastern Oregon University professor Jeffrey Dense told the Eastern Oregonian, adding that Parson's idea is "largely insurmountable."

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